Relationships are socially constructed by companies in interaction. This study explains the dynamic character of business-to-business relationships with the aid of rules theory, a theory borrowed from the communications field. Two forms of rules are identified: constitutive rules guide the interpretation of the other's acts, and regulative rules guide the appropriate response to the interpreted act. Rules theory asserts that companies act as if applying these rules. Relationships provide not only the context in which the parties’ acts are performed but are also the result of such acts. Thus, relationships are potentially reshaped each time one party performs an act and the other party gives meaning to that act and reacts.
Biggemann, S. (2010), "Chapter 4 Understanding and modeling the dynamics of business-to-business relationships", Woodside, A.G. (Ed.) Organizational Culture, Business-to-Business Relationships, and Interfirm Networks (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 179-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1069-0964(2010)0000016007
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